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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have two legal problems. I am 63. I am in financial

Customer Question

I have two legal problems. I am 63. I am in financial difficulties and considering a one-off IVA as an alternative to bankruptcy. I owe £100,000+ to unsecured creditors. I have £30,000 equity in my mortgaged home. Part of the problem is due to a financial spread-betting account with the IG Index company. The share price of a company I was up-betting fell rapidly. IG closed me out (selling the underlying stock they held to “lay off” my bet). This crystallised a loss to my P&L of £21,000 approx, which now represents a part of my unsecured debt. A few months ago, as my financial situation worsened, IG Index opened a new stockbroking service in addition to its traditional spread-betting service. It advertised this to its customers pointing out that its stockbroking customers could choose to link their stockbroking and spreadbetting account to provide collateral with their own shares for spread-bet positions rather than with cash. As my cash position was deteriorating, I decided to transfer my share portfolio from Barclays Stockbrokers to IG Index and to link this account as collateral for my spread-bet account. I was desperate to avoid being closed out. But the situation continued to worsen and IG started to sell off some of the shares in my linked stockbroking account. I suddenly received an email from IG to say that my accounts had been unlinked. If I wanted to link them again, I would need to re-apply. By this stage, I was in serious difficulties all round. I phoned IG and said I did not want my accounts linking again. I wanted the remaining shares in my unlinked stockbroking account converted into share certificates and the certificates sent to me. The person I spoke to was a bit bemused and thought the unlinking may have been a mistake. I reiterated what I wanted and I sent an email confirming my instructions. I received a reply confirming the accounts were unlinked. I was told the share certificates could not be sent to me. The shares in my stockbroking account may have to be sold in order to cover my spread-bet debt, I was told. I replied that I did not believe they were entitled to do this as the accounts were no longer linked. I explained that I was in financial difficulties and in discussion with my unsecured creditors. I said I was duty-bound to pull in all my assets for the benefit of all my creditors and could not accept IG using assets in my stockbroking account to cover an entirely separate debt in my spread-bet account. I accepted they were entitled to close out my spread-bet positions, (which they did). I also pointed out that seizing the funds and shares in my stockbroking account would not be a very good advertisement for their new service. This happened about a week ago. I was told my email had been sent to their compliance department. There has been no response from them as yet. There is £10,000 in my stockbroking account and shares currently valued at £12,000, so there are sufficient funds to cover my IG debt. I want to keep these assets for several reasons. I believe the share price may well rise over the next 6-12 months and that will give me a better chance of making an acceptable one-off IVA offer to all my creditors. If the share price were to rise significantly, it might even provide me with a surplus after paying off all my creditors (perhaps unlikely). My online access to my account details was terminated. I complained about this as I could not check my stockbroking account position or confirm that it was intact. My access was reinstated. I noticed that it appeared that I was able to withdraw the £10,000 funds in my stockbroking account to a bank account debit card. I have requested this online today and received a standard reply telling me that all withdrawals have to be checked, so I don't know if the withdrawal will be honoured. My main query is: Does IG have the right to use the funds and the shares in my unlinked IG Index stockbroking account to cover my spread-bet debt to them? If that is the case, what is the point in their linking accounts, why have they not sold the remaining shares and transferred the funds and why is their compliance department apparently dithering about making a response? Is there any action I can take if they grab the contents of my stockbroking account? Can I force them to send me the share certificates? I don’t have room to give my other query here. My email is *****@******.***. My number is ***** Thank you. Steve XXXXX

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Please understand it is rare for us not to be able to find the right Professional to assist our customers. We can close this question and return your good faith deposit to the original funding source on request.
Please let me know how you wish to proceed and again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I hope you will give JustAnswer a try again in the future,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Clearly no one wants to get mixed up in this problem. Please cancel the question and return my deposit. Thank you Steve XXXXX